I recently came across a group of former soldiers who are now very active in the anti-war movement. This is quite a condemnation, issuing as it is from those who were actually there. Or, it would be if they had actually been there, as in, on the front lines. While I’m sure there are some who are actual combat vets, the most vocal and prominent must be a plant from the pro-military crowd, because surely, they do more to sabotage the anti-war group than help it.
For example, there is a guy who goes by the name of Richard Strandlof, aka Richard Duncan. He claimed to be a General. The problem is the guy is a fake. He did actually serve, but never made it past the rank of Private First Class. That’s a long way from a General. The saddest part is the dishonor he brought to his children; both are officers who are and have honorably served.
Another case is Geoff Millard, who served the Iraq Veterans Against the War as the president of the Washington, DC chapter. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of an anti-war activist group Code Pink said, specifically in reference to this guy, “The vet groups are our street cred”. This guy, this group and the credibility they share are in fact genuine. Genuine fakes, frauds and liars, that is.
He claims to have been a sergeant, though his DD214 per an FOIA request shows he never made it past the rank of specialist. In pictures of him at various anti-war rallies, the guy sports a chest full of medals, including three meritorious service awards, even though none are listed in his official government record.
In response to questions about this contradiction between what he has claimed and the official record, he cheerfully supplied the best of the three separate and different DD214’s he says he has. Unsurprisingly, all the medals he wears in those pictures are listed. Perhaps what is a surprise, at least to him, is that it is a crime to falsify government documents. The falsified DD214’s have been forwarded to the FBI.
I will not say that it is not right to question the reasons a nation sends it’s citizens to war; in this society, under our Constitution, that is one of our most basic, fundamental and important rights. However, when those who are protesting the war use poster boys (and girls) who are fakes and phonies, it certainly undermines their message. I guess that’s okay, because their message is as confused and baseless as are these fake heroes’ claims.
If you would like to read more about some of those who have claimed medals and honors that they did not earn, visit This Ain't Hell and click on the Stolen Valor tab. And the next time you see an alleged war hero protesting the war, check him out. Chances are he has not done what he says he did, did not receive the honors he claims, and may not have ever worn this nation’s uniform, except at those anti-war rallies.
Some other sources follow, and the last one has a listing of even more websites and groups working to out these posers.